, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 171–188 | Cite as

How do middle-aged children allocate time and money transfers to their older parents in Europe?

  • Eric BonsangEmail author
Original Paper


This paper analyses the determinants of financial and time transfers from adult children to their older parents using the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). It is the first survey containing rich comparable interdisciplinary information about individuals aged 50+ from ten European countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland). The first part of the paper highlights the differences in the provision of upward private intergenerational transfers (in terms of both time and money) across the ten European countries. The second part describes the different determinants in the decision to provide time or money transfers to parents and evaluates whether these two types of assistance are substitutes or complements. Results highlight the existence of a substitution between time and money in relation to geographical distance and the existence of a weak substitution regarding the employment status of the middle-aged children.


Informal care Private intergenerational transfers 

JEL Classification




The SHARE data collection has been primarily funded by the European Commission through the 5th framework programme (project QLK6-CT-2001-00360 in the thematic programme Quality of Life). Additional funding came from the US National Institute on Aging (U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, Y1-AG-4553-01 and OGHA 04-064). Data collection in Austria (through the Austrian Science Foundation, FWF), Belgium (through the Belgian Science Policy Administration) and Switzerland (through BBW/OFES/UFES) was nationally funded. The SHARE data set is introduced in Börsch-Supan et al. (2005); methodological details are contained in Börsch-Supan and Jürges (2005). The author acknowledges Izabela Jelovac, Pierre Thomas Leger, Sergio Perelman and Pierre Pestieau for their useful comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CREPP-Université de LiègeLiegeBelgium

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